Have you been to the traveling nurse event of the year: the Gypsy Nurse Spring Fling?
If you’ve heard colleagues enthusiastically talking about the Gypsy Nurse Spring Fling, then you probably know you’re in for an awesome time! However, it’s important to realize that attending this event can also help your career.
Here are our top five ways to leverage the Gypsy Nurse Spring Fling:
1. Get inspired to be a “gypsy nurse”.
If you’re still debating whether the traveling nurse lifestyle is for you, then attending this event is an absolute must.
According to Phil Galewitz in his USA Today article titled “Demand for travel nurses hits a 20-year high,” between 2015 and 2016, the need for traveling nurses was expected to increase by 10 percent. What’s more: the increased demand is predominantly for nurses experienced in emergency departments, intensive care, and other specialty areas.
At the Gypsy Nurse Spring Fling, you can meet with representatives from the largest medical staffing companies. You’ll find out what types of positions they’re looking to fill and where. You can also talk to nurses who’ve been traveling for a while and find out what their experiences are like.
In short, you can gain an accurate impression of the career and lifestyle of a traveling nurse so you can decide if it’s something you want to do.
2. Expand your professional network.
Of course, since the Gypsy Nurse Spring Fling is the best-attended traveling nurse event of the year, it’s the perfect place to expand your professional network quickly and effectively. Review the schedule and sponsor information, and determine who you’d like to meet and why.
If someone’s giving a presentation on a topic that interests you, it’s a good idea to connect after the presentation. Prepare for this meeting by researching the presenter and finding a common interest so you can establish rapport.
For example, if they went to the same school as you, use that as an icebreaker. Then just see where the conversation takes you.
Make sure you have up-to-date, hard copy business cards with you, as well as digital ones for people who use smartphone apps to keep track of contacts.
3. Strengthen existing relationships.
As a traveling nurse, there will be plenty of people you’ve worked with for a while until you — or they — moved on.
This event is a great place to reconnect and strengthen those relationships.
Remember: Out of sight is out of mind.
The opportunity to spend time in a relaxed environment, without the intense pressures of a hospital or clinic workplace, can result in deeper bonds than before.
So don’t lock yourself away, no matter how tired you are. Instead, be prepared to go to lunches and dinners with friends and colleagues, and work on strengthening those all-important professional relationships.
4. Promote yourself.
Recruiters from around the globe agree that positioning yourself as a specialist in a specific area is a critical career move if you want to advance.
You can do this by:
- contributing to trade journals
- keeping a professional blog
- mentoring junior professionals
Often, you need specific connections in order to do this. If you want to connect with a particular person for professional reasons, then you’re best advised to prepare an elevator pitch. This is a very short summary of who you are and what you do.
For example, if you’re looking to write a piece for a trade journal and an editor of that trade magazine will be attending, prepare a short, engaging introduction of who you are and what your expertise is.
If the person responds with interest, pursue the conversation.
If they don’t have time, offer your business card and ask if you can contact the person by phone or email to continue the conversation.
5. Learn about new developments.
When you’re busy working and traveling, it can be challenging to keep up with new developments in the nursing field on top of the developments that are specific to traveling nurses.
At the Gypsy Nurse Spring Fling, you’ll have the opportunity to find out about the most recent news and developments that can affect you or offer new opportunities.
From essential information about licensing requirements to useful reviews of professional attire products, you’ll find it all here.
And if you can’t find it, there’ll be somebody there who can.
Are you headed to the Gypsy Nurse Spring Fling this year?
Let us know in the comments below!